Do You Expose Hate or Hide It


Screen Shot 2013-03-22 at 11.17.40 PMThe other day, in a small town newspaper in West Virginia, an anonymous racist rant was published in the opinion section.  The discussion that followed was whether or not the newspaper should have published it.  A professor of journalism said they should not have done it.  The Pink Flamingo agrees with the editor.  This sort of thing needs to be exposed for the world to see.

“…Janet Dooley, interim dean at Marshall University’s School of Journalism, said publishing the comments crosses a line because it’s anonymous, not an editorial or even a guest column. He and the publisher stand by their decision to print the article.  “If you look at hate speech, it does hit several of the markers of hate speech, that it is directed at a particular group of people,” Dooley said. “It is not only offensive, but it goes beyond that to threaten certain groups of people.” …”

I guess we’re just supposed to hide this sort of thing.

“…The reader referenced a recent report about how the Lincoln County Board of Education had terminated lesbian teacher Kelli Burns from her job at Guyan Valley Middle School teacher after she accused board officials of forcing students to write complaints that she had tried to “turn them gay.” “We were really glad to hear that School Board is getting rid of them queers,” the voice mail said. “The next thing is we need to get rid of all the n****rs, the spics, the kikes and the wops.” “You know even them Catholics, they are wrong as baby eaters,” the reader continued. “We need to clear them people out and have good, white, God fearing Christians and everybody else needs to be put to death for their abominations.”

“We’ll keep Lincoln County white and right. Thank you.”..”

Before The Pink Flamingo segues into my planned rant, I want to mention that the firing of a good teacher, because she was a lesbian is crap. Is this what our modern, tolerant world has come to?  When I was in junior high, my eighth grade English teacher, Miss Pitts, was involved with my math teacher, Miss Lawrence.  They were tenured, extremely good educators who spent their entire careers at that one school.  Everyone knew they were lesbians.  They had little houses right next door to one another. They wore matching jewelry.  They didn’t even drive to school together.  They lived separate lives, together, for a lifetime.  In the summer they would take nice long tours, traveling the entire time, in Europe. No one fired them.  No one complained.  No one gave a damn, not even the very conservative Baptist principal (who later became a very good friend of mine – even if he is a Yankees’ fan).  Heck, no one even cared when one of the teachers at the school had a son-in-law put in prison for running drugs.  (He was a good friend of Jimmy Carter).  They were excellent teachers.  The world should be so fortunate to see their like, again.

Geez, in high school we had one teacher (art) who thought she was reincarnated from a rabbit.  She was having an affair with the French teacher, who cultivated this continental mystique.  Looking back on it, he could not have been older than 26 or 27 at the time.  He tried to be so worldly, but hung out in the ROTC office (where I was the secretary – and THAT was fun – esp when I would out-shoot the rifle team).  They would have fights, scream and yell at one another in the halls.  Everyone thought it was a blast.

My favorite teacher was a recovering alcoholic who spent a year in a German POW camp before escaping,  He was in the battle of Tobruk.  He worshiped the ground Patton walked on, even being in the same hospital ward when Patton slapped the guy.  Mr. P. was involved in a situation for Patton, going into one of the concentration camps to ‘take care of’ some of the human experimentations when  Patton didn’t have the stomach for it.  He started drinking that night, and did not quit until about two years before I had him as my American History and journalism teacher.  He is the reason I am in politics, and am a writer. He was the GOP county chair.  I was little miss patriotic complete with DAR good citizen awards.

Mr. P. kept large bottles of booze in his cabinet at school.  Everyone knew it.  When he was having a bad day, he would take out a bottle, put it on his desk, and sit there, looking at it.  He would also explain that he was an alcoholic, why he drank, and why he had the bottle on his desk.  After awhile, he would swear under his breath, then put the bottle back in the cabinet and lock it.  No, it was not proper behavior for a teacher, but he would also periodically have some of his AA buddies in, and they would have an AA meeting during our classes.  He did not hide his drinking problem.  When we would get to World War II in history, out would come the bottle, in would come his friends, and he would explain what war did to those who fought it.   We would see the scars and hear the stories.   Unlike people today, he and his friends never once condemned the Nazis or the Japanese.  They were big into explaining why war happened.  To get us to understand the economic consequences behind wars.  They were lessons I still use.

I bring this up because this is about the current world and ‘hate’.  It controls the GOP, the far right, and the conservative agenda. The real problem is this sort of hate is not limited to just the far wilds of West Virginia.  It is alive and well, promoted via FOX.

“…Former Obama administration official Cass Sunstein writes that he received death threats and hate mail at his unlisted home address after Fox News launched a smear campaign against him. After Sunstein’s nomination and confirmation in 2009, then-Fox host Glenn Beck attacked him and his work for years, invoking mass murderers, totalitarianism and conspiracy theories in conjunction with his name.

Sunstein served as Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the first Obama administration from September 2009 to August 2012.

As Mother Jones notes, Sunstein writes in his upcoming book, Simpler: The Future of Government, that Beck “developed what appeared to be a kind of an obsession with me.” Sunstein compares Beck’s attacks to the “Two Minutes Hate” from the classic novel 1984, where citizens were forced to watch films depicting enemies of the totalitarian party.

Sunstein also notes that he “began to receive a lot of hate mail, including death threats, at my unlisted home address. One of them stated, ‘If I were you I would resign immediately. A well-paid individual, who is armed, knows where you live.'”

Another frequent target of Beck’s, CUNY professor Frances Fox Piven, also received death threats after he accused her of creating a plan to “intentionally collapse our economic system.” Byron Williams, who planned an attack on the non-profit Tides Foundation, citedGlenn Beck’s repeated attacks against the organization as one of the motivations behind his crime….”

The very real problem here is that inside the festering hate that has taken over the far right is breeding an entirely new uptick in what can only be termed as home-grown terrorism, by far right radicals who either have connections to organized crime via skinheads, or anti-tax militants and militia.


Want an example?


Hiding the problem does not make it go away.  The only way to exterminate those nasty little roaches is to expose those nasty little roaches is to the light.  They may start running away, but you can get rid of some of them.

Bullies don’t function well after they are exposed.  Unfortunately, what we are now dealing with are not exactly bullies.  They have gone far beyond that, aided by this irrational hatred of Barack Obama, their own personal bigotry and a far right media machine that is completely unethical and out of control.  It is one thing to oppose an elected official’s agenda.  It is another thing, entirely, to promote irrational hatred 24/7 against that person.

The far right media needs to be required to take some responsibility for this mess.  They have helped to create it. That’s the problem, they aren’t responsible – for anything but making money, no matter who is hurt or destroyed.

Do you hide the racists or expose them?